Tag Archives: brigitte cutshall

How Humor and Faith Help You Focus on What’s Important

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The idea to mix the topic of humor and faith came to me after receiving a note from a good friend last week. His morning habit includes praying and thought of me as he read this passage: 

Who can find a woman of noble character? She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs at the hard times to come. (Proverbs 31: 10, 25)

Reading this made me smile and giggle because he knows some of the crazy stuff I’ve been through. It also reminded me that everything will be okay. I “thought” I was having a bad morning until receiving that note. My thoughts switched to positive mode and made me happy.

Having a sense of humor can help you get through uncomfortable moments or situations. Humor helps provide insight and tolerance and allows you to see things from a different perspective. Laughter bonds people.

Having faith is the best way to tap into your innate wisdom, harmony and strength which keeps us centered. Life is full of bumps and curves, and faith will help steer you back to your center as many times as needed.

These two things – humor and faith – are important aspects of our lives we tend take for granted. Here are three examples that illustrate how humor and faith can help you focus on what’s important: Continue reading

5 Reasons You Should Consider Adding the Alternative to Healthcare

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There’s an alternative for everything.

Alternative healthcare has gained in popularity over the past couple of decades. Why is this happening? I believe it’s for two main reasons: people don’t want to be passive about their health anymore and they can’t afford the high healthcare costs in the U.S. 

There are several terms out there that can be a little confusing … alternative, complementary, integrative. Here’s the difference:

  • Alternative healthcare is used instead of mainstream medical care. It’s usually for pain  and stress relief. The most common forms are chiropractic adjustments and massages.
  • Complementary healthcare is using alternative together with mainstream medical care. An example of this is using acupuncture to help with the side effects of traditional cancer treatment.
  • Integrative healthcare is when healthcare providers offer both – traditional and alternative – care in their facilities. You can see an acupuncturist in the same building as the oncologist.

Seeing a chiropractor is one of the more popular forms of alternative medicine that is paid for by many insurance policies. I have received regular chiropractic adjustments for the past 16 years. It all started after falling on ice that injured my shoulder. The standard treatment – prescription drugs and physical therapy for 6 weeks didn’t help. My pain finally went away after getting adjusted for 3 weeks. 

The thought of seeing a chiropractor seemed a little crazy at first only because I didn’t know any better. I’m glad it was recommended to me. My experience has been positive and weekly adjustments still makes me feel better overall.

Intrigued yet? Here are 5 reasons why you should consider and engage in alternative healthcare: Continue reading

An Effective Way to Move from Negativity to a Positive Future in 5 Steps

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And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. ~Matthew 21:22

There is a lot more negativity today than ever before. Is there truth in that statement? Your answer is really the narrative or perspective you choose to view life. It’s in your way of thinking, your state of mind.

A negative view can add unnecessary stress and hold you back from reaching your intended goals or ignore what’s really important. You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice because you’re actually creating a new habit after all.

Don’t expect to become an optimist overnight if you tend to have a negative outlook. But with practice, eventually your self-talk will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You will also become less critical of your environment and the world around you.

When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you’re better able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.

The following points are an effective way to help you focus on what’s important, and move from negative thoughts to more positivity in 5 simple steps: Continue reading

5 Ways to Make a Positive Impact in Your Community

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The holidays are officially over! Where did the year go?

This time of year is also when charities and other non-profit causes need extra help. There are many ways to engage with your community. With all the choices available, how do you choose?

Look for opportunities that align with your values and have a clear purpose. Things that get my attention relate to animals and children. Another aspect for me is health advocacy. Doing something that has importance to you will provide a better experience also. What’s important to you?

You don’t have to be privileged, have special advantages, or have a lot of money to make an impact. It’s really in your mindset. Choose to be a role model.

Here are 5 simple ways on how to make a positive impact in your community: Continue reading

Five Reasons to Smile… A lot!

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“You always look happy.” One of my neighbors said this to me once while out walking my dogs. Guess I was caught smiling again.

A smile can make a positive impact in any situation. It’s contagious. This is something we need to remember now that the holidays are here. You can enjoy those holiday parties and meals more by simply smiling.

The holidays are an opportunity to help reinforce the values and beliefs that are important to us. Yet many people feel overwhelmed and complain that they just want to survive the holidays. That’s a red-flag that values are taken for granted and you should adjust the traditions that have been set.

Even if you don’t feel “it” or aren’t in the moment, the simple act of smiling can change that perspective. Who cares if your Aunt Betty brings a casserole dish over for Christmas dinner that you won’t eat and find kind of gross? Focus on the good things happening. It’s best to just smile and be thankful for the moment to be there together. Continue reading

Why Making Time for Vacation is Important

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Family vacations were a high point for me growing up. It was a time to explore and learn about the world. We didn’t have a lot of money and that required a bit of creativity. I consider myself lucky that my parents took the time for breaks in their schedule to spend time with us.

A simple definition of ‘vacation’ is a time when someone is away from home, school or work, in order to relax or travel. I like to think of it as an intermission from your normal, daily life.

Many of us have a tendency to push ourselves too much and ignore the chronic stress that comes with that constant drive to achieve something.  In the U.S. we tend to take “time off” for granted and treat it as a type of luxury. It’s not. We all need a break.

Expedia did a study called Vacation Deprivation and found that a vacation for most can just be “a remote office away from the office.” People are still engaging with work, taking calls, and checking email regularly (guilty!).  And a lot of paid vacation goes unused for various reasons.

We’ve all had a conversation about work-life balance and its relevance. But are you actually doing something to create that needed healthy balance?

After our recent family vacation before school started, it was a great reminder that taking a break – a vacation – is healthy and a key part of stress reduction. Here are 7 reasons why it’s important to schedule vacation on a regular basis: Continue reading

5 Benefits of Cross-Training (even if you’re 50+)

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You’re reading this article probably because you are interested in improving your health.  Awesome!  It takes more than interest though – it takes some action.

There is no magic pill.  If you just focus on “products” to help you lose weight or look younger, those products will make you feel insecure when they don’t work as intended. That’s not healthy in the long run. 

One of the best ways to do improve your health is through exercise done on a consistent basis.  And the key to consistent exercise is finding something you enjoy doing.  Even though I am 51, participating in trail running and hiking is something I’ve always liked to do. I look forward to it and plan my schedule to fit those activities in. It’s ingrained in my lifestyle.

If you only do one exercise, running for example, it can create some problems with people and cause joint pain. It’s important to “mix it up” with different work outs. I balance my running with hiking, yoga workouts, and lift light weights to help with overall muscle toning. But I know swimming and bike riding should be done more often because they are low-impact.

If you use the weather as an excuse, you can use indoor equipment like a treadmill, elliptical machine and a stationary bike. You can have this equipment at home if you don’t belong to a gym and if you have the space available.

Use of equipment is not needed at all actually. There are many other methods like stair climbing, aerobics, yoga, etc. Here’s a list of ideas to choose from that fit your personality and preferences: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/fitness-a-to-z

Note: I recommend you check in with your doctor first if exercise is new to you – especially if you have a current medical condition. It would also be a good idea to meet with a personal trainer to help you get started.

Cross-training is the backbone of any exercise program, and is ideal for anyone, even if you’re a beginner who wants to get in shape or you are experienced with exercise and want to ramp it up. Here are five benefits to incorporate cross-training: Continue reading

7 Simple Reminders When Dealing With the Stress of Death

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You know it’s probably not a good thing when the phone rings at 1am.

My mom called me from the hospital and woke me with terrible news. My stepfather died from a massive heart attack. How can this happen to a “healthy” and vibrant person?  He was only 64 years old. She was in shock.

Most people aim to have a smooth, steady and orderly life. Stress is an invasion into that “peaceful” environment. The death of a loved one is #1 of the top 5 causes of stress.

The grief from a death is intense. It effects your emotions, body and overall life in many ways. A sudden death, like my stepfather’s, just feels unnatural and can challenge anyone’s confidence. An incident like this can turn your world upside down.

There are different stages of grief and it’s important to deal with the process. Don’t rely on alcohol and drugs; they only numb the pain temporarily and can prolong the recovery process of mourning. Mourning is the psychological process of healing and is different for everyone.

Here are 7 simple reminders to help deal with the stress of death and the grieving process: Continue reading

6 Essential Tips to Develop a Stress Management Strategy

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By Brigitte Cutshall

Were you aware that chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of health issues?  Heart disease, cancer, stroke, lower respiratory disease, and accidents. Chronic stress can affect your brain, raise your blood pressure, and reduces your immunity and ability to heal.

At least 75% of doctor office visits are for stress-related complaints stemming from job stress.  It’s a $1 trillion per year “under the radar” health epidemic according to Peter Schnall, author of Unhealthy Work.

The cost to treat those with chronic diseases (from stress) is about 75% of the national health expenditures per the CDC. Chronic diseases cause 7 out of 10 deaths each year – but are preventable and treatable.

Chronic stress not only affects the physical aspects of your life such as health or general energy level, but it can affect job performance and personal relationships. For this reason, every person needs a stress management strategy, a way to focus on personal empowerment and feelings of “loss of control” in check.

Dealing with cancer twice and a brain tumor diagnosis confirmed that I can’t take anything for granted.  I want to be there for my family, watch my kids grow up and thrive. This reality made me stop, take a step back and evaluate my life, intentions and overall goals. Developing a stress management strategy was important. My curiosity also led me to become a certified health coach and health advocate.

Here are 6 essential tips I recommend to help you develop a stress management strategy: Continue reading

Five Reasons to Smile…A lot!

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By Brigitte Cutshall

“You always look happy.” One of my neighbors said this to me once while out walking my dogs. Guess I was caught smiling again.

A smile can make a positive impact in any situation. It’s contagious. This is something we need to remember now that the holidays are here. You can enjoy those holiday parties and meals more by simply smiling.

The holidays are an opportunity to help reinforce the values and beliefs that are important to us. Yet many people feel overwhelmed and complain that they just want to survive the holidays. That’s a red-flag that values are taken for granted and you should adjust the traditions that have been set.

Even if you don’t feel “it” or aren’t in the moment, the simple act of smiling can change that perspective. Who cares if your Aunt Betty brings a casserole dish over for Christmas dinner that you won’t eat and find kind of gross? Focus on the good things happening. It’s best to just smile and be thankful for the moment to be there together. Continue reading

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